Center for the History of Global Development


Connie Shemo.mp3 (69.45MB)
Connie Shemo.mp3 (69.45MB)

Connie Shemo (State University of New York, Plattsburgh)- 2 July 2020

Black Lives and Covid-19

An urgent public health debate in the United States is why ethnic and racial minorities are both contracting COVID 19 and dying of the virus in disproportionately high numbers. In this talk the lecturer will lay out the reason, which include a history of housing discrimination, restricted access to education, and incidents such as the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment. We will then take up the questions of whether the experience of Black Americans with COVID 19 is distinctive from other minorities in the United States and globally. Finally, we will explore the question of how public health in the United States could be better embrace the insights of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Iris Borowy (Shanghai University) - 14 May 2020

Covid-19 : The Economic Side of Pandemic

Covid-19 is not only a health but also an economic crisis. As  policies of lock-down and social distancing have interrupted economic activities, as unemployment is rising, state incomes are falling and protesters in several places are demanding the "opening" of the economy, this component of the present crisis may be as serious as the health part of the pandemic. In a rapid evolving situation of patchy information and incomplete data, this talk will take a first look at the effects the pandemic has had on the global economy and what this may mean for the foreseeable future.

Ida Milne (Carlow College) - 18 June 2020

Spanish Flu and Covid-19: Same Old History?

How can the study of the 1918-19 influenza pandemic inform the Covid-19 pandemic?  Over the past few months, Irish historian Dr Ida Milne has been interviewed extensively in media about how pandemic influenza impacted on Irish society in 1918-19, and what parallels can be drawn. From statistics to show that public events caused increases in infection, to the contracting of trade, and the short and long term impact on sufferers and their families, the history of the earlier pandemic could and did inform the current crisis.  In this talk she explores the parallels, showing the practical applications of humanities to a medical crisis.


Jenia Mukherjee (Indian Institute of Technology Kharagpur)  30 April 2020

Is COVID 19 a ‘Capitalocene’ Challenge? Some Reflections from Indian Cities

Working at the intersections between environmental humanities and urban studies, the speaker will contextualize COVID 19 as the ‘Capitalocene’ challenge, arguing why this framework can provide a better edge to understand global pandemics. The larger understanding that COVID 19 is a ‘neo-liberal disease’ and ‘wicked problem’, deeply embedded in material and cultural fabric of our times, will then drive the second part of the lecture focusing on the Indian urban scene. Drawing examples from the Indian cities, the talk will demonstrate how densely packed urban environments with weak infrastructures and utilities can turn the corona hazard into a disaster. The most marginalized, inhabiting ‘informal’ settlements will be the worst sufferers from the outbreak of coronavirus with continued and spiral effects during the pre-outbreak, outbreak and post-outbreak stages.